Jewish American jazz flautist and important early practitioner of world music Herbert Jay Solomon, better known as Herbie Mann, was born on April 16, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. Early in his career, he also played saxophones and clarinets (including bass clarinet), but Mann was among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute and was perhaps jazz music's preeminent flautist during the 1960s.
His most popular single was "Hijack" which was a Billboard number one dance hits of 1975 (USA) for 3 weeks.
As a teen, he attended Lincoln H.S. in Brighton Beach and was actually failed in a music class. He talks a lot about "the groove." Mann locked into a Brazilian groove in the early 1960s, then moved into a funky, soulful groove in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
By the mid-1970s he was making hit disco records, still cooking in a rhythmic groove." He describes his approach to finding the groove as follows: "All you have to do is find the waves that are comfortable to float on top of." Mann argues that the "epitome of a groove record" is Memphis Underground or Push Push, because the "rhythm section locked all in one perception."
Mann was an early pioneer in the fusing of jazz and world music. He incorporated elements of African music in 1959 following a State Department sponsored tour of the continent, adding a conga player to his band, and the same year recorded Flautista, an album of Afro-Cuban jazz. In 1961 Mann took a tour of Brazil and returned to the United States to record with Brazilian players including Antonio Carlos Jobim and guitarist Baden Powell. These albums helped popularize the bossa nova. Many of his albums throughout his career returned to Brazilian themes. He went on to record reggae in London (in 1974), Middle Eastern (1966 and 1967) , and Eastern European styles.
In the mid-1960s Mann hired a young Chick Corea to play in some of his bands, still with a Latin ti. In the late 1970s, early 1980s Mann played duets at New York City's Bottom Line and the Village Gate to sold out crowds with the late Sarod virtuso Vasant Rai.
Following the 1969 hit album Memphis Underground a number of disco-style smooth jazz records in the 1970s, mainly on Atlantic records, brought some criticism from jazz purists but helped Mann remain active during a period of declining interest in jazz. The musicians on these recordings are some of the best-known session players in soul and jazz, including singer Cissy Houston (mother of Whitney Houston), guitarists Duane Allman and Larry Coryell, bassists Donald "Duck" Dunn and Chuck Rainey and drummers Al Jackson and Bernard Purdie, these last from the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama.
In this period Mann had a number of songs cross over to the pop charts — rather rare for a jazz musician. A 1998 interview reported that "At least 25 Herbie Mann albums have made the top 200 pop charts, success denied most of his jazz peers."
In the early 1970s he founded his own record label, Embryo, distributed by Atlantic Records, and which, apart from his own recordings, produced the 520 Series for jazz albums, such as Ron Carter's Uptown Conversation (1970); Miroslav Vitous' first solo album, Infinite Search (1969); Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival (1971); and Dick Morrissey and JIm Mullen's Up (1976), which featured the Average White Band as a rhythm section; and the 730 Series, with a more rock-oriented style, including Zero Time (1971) by Tonto's Expanding Head Band.
He later set up KokopelliRecords after difficulty with established labels. His first gig was playing in the Catskills at age 15. His last, on May 3, 2003 was at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at age 73. Herbie Mann died at age 73 on July 1, 2003 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Herbie plays with João Gilberto
Reference - Wikipédia